Forager’s Delight: Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

wild-alaska-blueberry-cornm I have a massive issue when it comes to foraging. Some would call it my gift. Others (like my berry-picking friends) would call it my curse. You see, deep in the incomprehensible double-helix thingy of my DNA structure, I have an unmistakable gene for hunting and gathering. I love it.

Friendly’s Fried Clams Go Down Nicely With Art

jean-august-1 As Jerry Seinfeld says, buying fruit is a gamble—so are some art trips. In mid-July I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to take my art-philosophy Ph.D. orals. My husband, Dave, came along so he could eat tons of lobster and give me hugs. Happily, I passed – though going before academics is scary, even if you’ve studied hours and hours. Stay tuned as it’s going to be fun to report on my project: The Art of Winston Churchill. Read more

Lesser Sandhill Cranes: Feeding the Colt

Feeding a colt (that's a baby crane) is a full time job. These Lesser Sandhill Cranes are finding leeches, worms, snails, fish, and other invertebrates in the mud. More.

Herb-crusted Alaskan Salmon with Roasted Lemons

Heidi Drygas Herb Salmon8 Deciding what to make for Solstice dinner was easy. During spring and early summer, us Alaskans engage in a traditional pastime known generally as "Cleaning Out the Freezer". See the recipe.

My Top 10 Tracks of 2013

I tallied up my 10 favorite albums of 2013 and put a song from each in the mix. From R&B and rap to nu-disco, dance and funk, it’s got a little bit of anything. See the list.

Healthy New Year’s Pumpkin Spice Muffins

heidi drygas muffins 1 For Christmas this year, my adorable nieces in Fairbanks gave me the holiday death plague. Complete with hacking cough, sore throat, get the idea. I feel like death warmed over. In my delirious, sick-y state I decided I needed to bake something. I know, I know. I'm a terrible baker. See the recipe.

The Spoken Word Movement in Alaska

Spoken Word Movement 2 Spoken Word is not a new art form, it is seen throughout history in the form of storytelling, oral history and song. Now Spoken Word is unraveling into an international movement, looking to promote the voices of the voiceless, focusing specifically on teens. Read more.

Waves of Change: Kodiak Stories of the 1964 Earthquake and Tsunami

Waves of Change: Kodiak Stories of the 1964 Earthquake and Tsunami was a two-week long history and film course in which Kodiak youth researched the under-documented stories that relate to the 1964 earthquake and tsunami. Students conducted interviews with elders and scientists, engaged in archival and secondary source research, and shot, directed and edited their own films. Read more.

Wild Alaska Salmon with Chimichurri & Roasted Root Vegetables

Heidi Drygas Salmon Chimichurri 1 I'm a bit salmon obsessed of late, and for good reason.  You see, after an extremely successful fishing trip in Valdez's Prince William Sound, I'm a bit salmon-heavy at my house.  And frankly, that's putting it lightly. It comes down to this: if I don't eat all this salmon, I can't fit anything else in my freezer. See the recipe.

The Art of James Gurney: Part 1

Dinotopia Book Cover The Portrait Society of America held its annual conference in Atlanta and featured illustrator James Gurney. As a parent, I was familiar with his book Dinotopia but had never looked beyond the bedtime story scenario. I chose a Gurney break-out session and began to learn how approachable he was. Read more.

A July Art Vacation

Barry McGee Installation (Exterior, 2013) While some relax rafting or playing 18 holes of golf, I spent a portion of my summer on campus. When not writing essays for Town Square 49, or painting with acrylics, I attend low-residency PhD classes at The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. This program allows students to absorb classical philosophy while never getting out of their pajamas. Read more.

Perfect Skillet Chicken

heidi drygas skillet chicken There is something in your kitchen that you've been neglecting. Perhaps you received it as a wedding present. Or its been passed down to you from your grandmother's grandmother's grandmother. Or maybe you've been living without one all this time. The cast iron skillet. See the recipe.

Homemade Caribou Summer Sausage

summer-sausage My brother and I had a terrific hunt last fall where we were both lucky enough to harvest a caribou. Because we harvested big bulls, and it was after the rut, we decided to make most of the meat into sausage. See the recipes.

Memories of Making Cranberry Hooch

Bog Cranberries (High Bush Variety) Turn Bright Red in Autumn.  (National Archives, 1973.) In 1968, my handsome, newbie husband Dick spotted an article in the Anchorage Daily News that told how to make different things out of high bush cranberries: jelly, juice, ketchup and hooch. We decided to try and make some. Read more.

The Civil War as Surreal

Our country is celebrating the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865). On a recent trip East, husband Dave and I tried to remove the surreal when imagining neighbors killing neighbors or our non-white relatives as slaves. Read more.

Squash Mac & Cheese

Heidi Drygas Squash Mac 1 I love this dish. But I seriously fretted about what to call it. Because it's a lighter mac & cheese, but calling it "light mac & cheese" is such a culinary turnoff. Might as well tell folks to chew on some saw dust, eh? See the recipe.

2013 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic

I joined Josh Mumm, Eben Sargent, and John Sykes for the ~170 mile route from McCarthy to Tok-Cutoff via President’s Chair. We slimmed our packs to 30 lbs each, which included minimal glacier gear. Read more.

Winter With Color And Texture In Anchorage

Ed Mighell's Studio in Fairview It’s winter and I really needed to get out of my studio and find some color and yes, some texture. I love being a studio hermit but visiting with other artists is essential for continual artistic growth. Entering AK Starfish Co. is like skidding onto a painter’s palette. Read more.

Paramotoring in Alaska: The Chase Video

I have been an outdoor sportsman all my life... archery, fly fishing, snow machine, dirt bike, jet ski, skiing, snow boarding, wake boarding to name a few. Now I find it hard to do any other sport, except flying paragliders, weather motor flying or free flying. I tell everyone the same thing...."You have not lived until you have flown" and I don't mean sitting in a plane, but rather being the plane. Click for more.

Ikura: Curing Salmon Eggs

Donachy Salmon Eggs 6 Like fire opals lit from within, freshly cured salmon eggs are ready to be served as ikura sushi, sprinkled on a bowl of rice (ikuradon), as a seafood garnish, with cream cheese and rice crackers, or simply gobbled by the spoonful! Learn more.